Project: Cluster Development Activity

Across industrialised and developing countries, there are growing indications that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can boost their competitiveness through networking and this process is easier and more sustainable if the firms are situated and work very closely with one another in ‘Clusters’. A Cluster, is therefore, best defined as a sectoral and geographical concentration of enterprises and their various service providers, producing goods or services, in particular micro, small and medium enterprises, facing similar threats and opportunities.

Amidst severe competition posed by globalisation today, it is being largely felt that developing clusters of firms engaged in similar activities would be the most viable approach to develop the small and traditional industrial sector. It is in this context that IIE has taken up the Cluster Development Approach to develop small enterprises in North Eastern Region of India to meet the challenging opportunities and threats in a globalised economy.




Cane & Bamboo Cluster, Dimapur

Imphal East Handloom Cluster.


Given the status of the micro and small enterprise sector in North East India, the future growth and sustainability of this sector in the region calls for a proper utilisation of the available resources for its growth. Moreover, with globalisation as a challenge, growth of clusters can not only lower the cost of production and make the firms produce at a competitive end but can also give a thrust on accessing a wider market with state of art technology resulting in better quality products.

Micro, small and medium enterprise clusters are being developed to enhance production base and improve competitiveness, identify new markets, trigger growth, attain economies of scale, create new employment opportunities, and address regional economic imbalances. In this direction, DC-MSME, Government of India has mandated IIE to set up a Regional Resource Centre (RRC) on cluster development in the institute’s premises to propagate cluster development approach in North East India spatially more earnestly. The RRC has its Nodal Office in the premises of IIE, Guwahati with state centres in rest of the seven states across the North Eastern region with a holistic approach toward capacity building, providing handholding support and devising policy interventions in sustainable cluster development.

The RRC acts as a Resource Centre on cluster development in the North Eastern region to eventually galvanize economic growth in the micro, small and medium enterprises. The Centre provides platforms to different cluster actors to come together at regular intervals, to share their experiences and to take stock of their development interventions. Such interactions, it is deemed would help create a repository of knowledge of best practices and help to develop a comprehensive Vision and Blue Print for development of clusters in the region.

The Regional Resource Centre on Cluster Development has been playing a pioneering role as a Think Tank for micro, small and medium enterprises by offering valuable technical assistance to cluster units in the North Eastern Region. Apart from benchmarking best practices in this field, the Centre also endeavours to create new knowledge in the field of cluster development. It sensitizes policy makers and planners to evolve an enabling environment and policy framework under which clusters of globally competitive MSMEs can thrive.

Thus far, a database has been developed under RRC pertaining to various aspects of the eight states like general information, geography, demography and economy, sector wise industrial scenario, financial infrastructure, industrial policy etc. The database can help in formulating and implementing various cluster development initiatives for each of the eight states of NE India.



Place: Basistha Chariali, Lalmati, Guwahati

District: Kamrup

State: Assam

PIN : 781029

Telephone : +91-361-2300840, 2302646



1.Initially three diagnostic studies were conducted in the state of Assam and the same after due approval from the Ministry of MSME, GoI were implemented. They include:

i.Dhamdhama Handloom Cluster, Nalbari

ii.Bagulamari Jute Craft Cluster, Dhubri

iii.Pyraranga Eri Cluster, Boko, Kamrup

2.Four other clusters viz., Japi Cluster, Nalbari, Asharikandi Teracota Cluster, Dhubri, Sipajhar Handloom Cluster, Darrang, Rontholi Jewellery Cluster, Nagaon have been implemented after conducting the diagnostic studies.


Name of the co-ordinator : Shri Ratul Kumar Das

Place: H No: 131, Duncan Basti

District: Dimapur

State: Nagaland

PIN : 797112

Telephone : 03862231736

Email :


1.The diagnostic study for the following cluster has been conducted in Nagaland:

i.Jalukie Handloom Cluster

2. The following cluster proposals have been sent to the Ministry of MSME, GoI for necessary approval for conducting diagnostic studies:

i. Wokha Passion Fruit Clusters

ii. Zunheboto Passion Fruit Cluster

The other areas identified in Nagaland for cluster development are bee keeping, food processing specially in pineapples and passion fruits, medicinal plants, tea etc.



1. The diagnostic study for the following cluster has been carried out in Tripura:

i. Hapania Jute Cluster

2. The following cluster proposal has been sent to Ministry for necessary approval for conducting the diagnostic study

i. Rani Bazaar Rice Mill Cluster.

3. The other areas/sectors identified for developing clusters in Tripura are - cane and bamboo, handicraft, handloom, brick kiln etc.


Name of the co-ordinator : Lalduwahami Lusai

Place : A-16, Upper Republic

District: Aizawl

State: Mizoram

PIN : 796001

Telephone : 03892301929/09436403358


1. Three diagnostic studies have been conducted in the state of Mizoram till now and the same have been implemented. They include

i. Baktwang Wood Carpentry Cluster

ii. Bhairabi Bamboo Cluster

iii. Seling Bamboo Cluster

2. The other cluster proposals received from the state are Food Processing - Durtlang, Hnahlan, Garment/ Furniture – Lunglei etc.



1. The following two diagnostic studies were carried out and the clusters implemented in the state of Arunachal Pradesh:

Dirang Food Processing Cluster

Tawang Carpet Making Cluster

2. The other proposals that have come up in the state include the following:

Handloom and Handicraft Cluster, Lower Subansiri District, Ziro

Cane & Bamboo Cluster, Upper Subansiri District, Daporijo

Khonsa Wood Carving Cluster, Tirap

Bamboo Based Industry – Changlang, Tezu, Namsai


Name of the co-ordinator: Mr. Hemanta Rabha

Place : Nongpoh

District : Ri-Bhoi

State : Meghalaya

PIN : 793102

Telephone : 03638232348/ 09436305833



1. The diagnostic study for the following cluster was carried out in Meghalaya and the same has been implemented.

i. Umden Eri Cluster

The other proposals that have come up in the state include Food Processing (Pineapple) – Nongkhrah, Pottery – Chaipani, Black Smithy - East Khasi Hills

2. The areas identified in Meghalaya for cluster development are pottery and food processing sectors, especially pineapples in West and East Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills, pickles in Ri-Bhoi, honey and honey products in West Khasi Hills, and cane and bamboo products in East Khasi Hills. Handicraft products of Mawsynram area also on the queue


Name of the co-ordinator : Kokhen Chingtham

Place :R.K Dhiren Building, Nambam Chuthek, Nongmeibung

District : Imphal

State : Manipur

PIN : 795001

Telephone : 0352440881/09863059609



1. The Imphal East Handloom Cluster has been successfully implemented.

2.Two diagnostic studies were conducted in the state of Manipur for the following clusters and the same have been implemented:

i. Khangabok Kauna Cluster

ii. Greater Imphal Jwellery Cluster

3. The other proposals that have come up include the Andro Pottery – Ukhrul, Turn Stone– Bishenpur, Bamboo craft– Patsoi, Bamboo shoot- Bishenpur:


1. The diagnostic study of the following cluster for the state has been completed and the clusters has been implemented:

i. Okhrey Carpet Making Cluster

2. The following are the other cluster proposals received till now:

i. Handmade paper with bamboo - Assam Linzey

ii. Broom Binding - Malbasey, West Sikkim

iii. Food Processing (Ginger and turmeric powder) - Rakdong Tintek

The other potential sectors in the state that have been identified to be taken up as clusters are ginger & turmeric processing, broom making, handicrafts and handmade paper


In 2006, IIE was assigned the role of a technical agency in assisting the development of a large number of clusters in the eastern and north eastern region of the country under the scheme called the Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) sponsored by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India.

The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is the Nodal Agency for the programme. The programme is being implemented by different NGOs.

As a technical agency, IIE has been imparting training to the officials of the Nodal Agencies, Technical Agencies and CDAs on cluster development methodologies. It has also been providing guidance and handholding support in conducting diagnostic studies and preparation of five-year action plans. Through diagnostic studies, the various major cluster specific problems/weaknesses are identified.

NID Need Assessment Survey (NAS)



Name of the cluster



Pyranga Eri cluster

Dibakar Choudhury


Sipajhar Handloom Cluster

Shiekh M. Nilufai


Bagulamari Jute cluster

Abhijit Paul


Dhamdhama Handloom cluster

Irin Bisnutai


Rontholi Jewellery cluster

Arpit Agarwal


Asharikandi Terracotta cluster

Rakesh Sah


Strawberry RBH

Charles Tikkey


Khangabok Kauna cluster

Abhijit Paul


Greater Imphal Jewellery cluster

Arpit Agarwal


Baktwang Wood Carpentry cluster.

Prachurjya Phukan


Bhairabi Bamboo cluster

Prachurjya Phukan


Okhrey Carpet Making cluster

Purabi Saikia


Kaziranga Handloom RBH

Rakhi Anand

Project: Cane & Bamboo Cluster, Dimapur.

It is in the context of availability of cane and bamboo, local skill and the possibility of developing a cluster for the same that DC – MSME (Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India) mandated the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE), Guwahati to develop a cluster in cane and bamboo products.


At the start of the endeavor there were only eighteen volunteers ready to join the network and form a part of the cluster but eventually the membership steadily increased and stood at eighty-two (with 11 female actors and two (2) exporters).

Before intervention by IIE, there was only one unit which exported trays to Morocco worth of US $ 6000. The other units lacked export oriented products. Post intervention, Ms Jesmina Zeliang, one of the cluster actors was successful in bagging an export order of Rs.7 lakhs for her cane and bamboo furniture in 2005-06 which has gone upto US$16,000 in 2007-08. Besides, the cluster artisans registered sales at IITF at Delhi [Rs 2,15,000 (Approx)], NEDFi Haat at Guwahati [Rs 1,55,000 (Approx)], Bam Fest at Kerala [Rs 65,000 (Approx)], Exhibition at Udaipur [Rs 80,000 (Approx)] and NE Expo at Delhi [1,87,000 (Approx)].

For effective skill building, the cluster actors visited the Regional Research Laboratory (RRL), Jorhat, M/s Gurunanak Machinery suppliers Assam (P) Ltd., Tinsukia, Assam, Agarbatti stick making unit at Tinsukia etc.

The principal agencies which have contributed towards the success of the cluster also amplify the quality of collaboration achieved. Units in the cluster are supplying products to the Government Agencies like CCIC and TRIFED. Besides, technical help from various quarters including IIT Bombay had come by way of technical expertise and support. The expertise of CIBART was hired to introduce new technology into the cluster. A number of projects were sanctioned by commercial banks and NEDFi for new and existing cluster actors.

The cluster has successfully achieved the following:

i. The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) - Craft Council of Nagaland (CCN) (a body of the artisans of Nagaland) was formed with 50 registered members and the rest of the 32 members under the cluster were affiliated with CCN

ii. A New Product Brochure was prepared and published

iii. A common website was launched.

iv. A Product Gallery has been launched in Dimapur to promote the cluster products.

Principal Agencies contributing to the success of the scheme in Dimapur

Central Government Agencies DC (MSME)

Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India Ltd (CCIC)

Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED)

State Government

Nagaland Handloom and Handicrafts Development Cooperation Ltd (NHHDC).

DI, Government of Nagaland.

Nagaland Bamboo Mission.

Nagaland Industrial Development Corporation (NIDC)

Private Sector

Jesmina Zeliang

Cane Concept

Mr Naveen Sood, Expert in Cane and Bamboo Crafts

Prof A. K Das, Designer, IIT-G

Project: Imphal East Handloom Cluster

The Imphal East Handloom Cluster implemented in the year 2006 by the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, Guwahati has been sponsored by the Development Commissioner, Handloom, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. It is a three-year project that is expected to benefit 5,000 weavers of Wangkhei, Kongba, Khundrakpam, Khurai, Kong pal and Tangkhul Avenue in Imphal East. The geographical coverage is primarily based on legacy, viability, closes proximity to market/s, and concentration of skilled manpower.

IIE through its interventions has so far been successful in sensitising the weavers on issues relating to development of handloom products, has formed the Cluster Development Co-ordination Committee comprising of representatives from various government departments and stakeholders in the cluster and also has established a Business Information Centre for better coordination among the cluster actors. Besides, since initiation IIE has also successfully established Credit linkage facility between the cluster firms and banks. A yarn bank has also come up to meet the inadequacy in availability of raw material.


.IIE has a three year experience in Integrated Handloom Cluster Development Programme of the Development Commissioner Handloom, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India in Imphal East district of Manipur. The Cluster was formally launched on 30th May, 2006 under the mandate of DC-Handloom and started operating since September, 2006.

Since its inception, 150 SHGs have been formed in the cluster covering 2,500 weavers. A total direct sale of Rs. 80.00 lakhs approximately have been generated by the cluster artisans so far by participating in various marketing events. In addition, the artisans have been able to generate orders worth Rs. 22.31 lakhs by participating in buyer seller meets and exhibitions in Mumbai, Chennai, Dehradun, Delhi and Guwahati.

For effective skill building, steps have been taken in design intervention with 150 new designs being introduced, organising dyeing workshops, organising exposure visits etc. Besides, training in improved looms like jacquard mounted looms have been imparted to the cluster artisans. Weavers, marketer/s and dyers were taken to Shantipur and Burdwan cluster for adoption of better weaving techniques.

The principal agencies which have contributed towards the success of the cluster also amplify the quality of collaboration achieved. 100 weavers under a cooperative society have received loans under DDHPY. 90 SHGs’ have achieved financial linkages. 852 weavers have been covered for health insurance under the Welfare scheme of DC Handloom. Another 500 weavers have been covered under the Life Insurance scheme of Birla Sun Life.

The cluster has successfully achieved the following:

1. Weavers and dyers have started practicing dyeing of yarn on both vegetable and chemical dyeing having dyeing capacity of an average of 15 Kgs per day .

2. A yarn depot has been set up under the Mill Gate Price Scheme in coordination with the National Handloom Development Corporation. As the cost of yarn has been reduced the weavers are now enjoying a profit of 15% on selling price.

3. A market consortium has been formed with the completion of its registration and is active right now.

4. The construction work of CFC and Dye House is complete and have been inaugurated.

5. A product gallery has been set at IIE Guwahati for the products of Imphal Handloom Cluster.

Principal Agencies contributing to the success of the scheme in Dimapur

Central Government Agencies

DC (Handloom), Ministry of Textiles

National Handloom Development Corporation (NHDC)

State Government

Weavers’ Service Centre, Imphal

DI, Government of Manipur

Department of Handlooms

Muthua Museum

Manipur University

Private Sector

Women’s Worth Organisation (Handloom Marketers)

Macha Leima (MFI under NEDFi)

Mrs. Memcha (Master Weaver)

Ningthibi Collection

Kos Zasha, Designer

R. Das (Designer, Textiles, NIID)

Mrs. Garima Hazarika, Consultant Designer

Sailex Ngairangbam, Fashion Designer

Mr. Sukumar, Local Designer